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This week’s Monday Briefing starts from an overview of Elon Musk’s first month as Twitter Chief. In other news, a UK Supreme Court sentence on the second Scottish referendum, new lockdowns in China, a deadly shootout in Virginia, latest on Russia, and much much more.  


After months of hesitation, eccentric billionaire Elon Musk, already owner of Tesla and Space X, completed the takeover of Twitter last month and is now officially the CEO of one of the most used and famous social media companies in the world. Musk had struck an acquisition deal with the Twitter Board for 44 billion dollars at the end of April, but following allegations of a high number of bots spam accounts, he had suspended the offer, possibly hoping to complete the deal for a lower price. Twitter had responded by suing him, and a trial was set to begin in October. Instead, Musk decided to go ahead and complete the deal, and as of October 28th, is the Chief of the company. 

His first month has been quite eventful. He started by firing many of the company’s functionaries, including former CEO Parag Agrawal financial director Ned Segal, legal affairs director Sean Edgett, and chief of the Twitter legal team Vijaya Gadde, who was also in charge of decisions regarding content moderation, misinformation, and hate speech. Secondly, following an online altercation with author Stephen King, he announced that the verification tick would cost 8 dollars a month: “We need to pay the bills somehow,” tweeted Musk.  

Then, just a week into his new role, Musk proceeded to fire close to half of the Twitter workforce to cut down on costs, before realizing that a good part of that workforce is needed for the social network to function correctly and proceeding to call some of them back.  

The most significant impact of Elon Musk on Twitter so far, however, has regarded the readmission of accounts that had previously been blocked from the platform for violating the social network’s norms on conduct and hate speech. The most striking example was former US President Doland Trump, who had been banned from Twitter following the January 6th attack at Capitol Hill for inciting protestors’ violence at the inauguration of his successor Joe Biden. Trump was reinstated on the platform but has not yet tweeted. 

The last move Musk pulled since taking over Twitter was hinting at a possible support to Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis – known for his quite extreme position – in a potential Presidential race. It has only been one month, but Elon Musk has demonstrated how fast he can change things.  

Around the World 

UK Supreme court rules against second Scottish independence referendum The UK Supreme court has unanimously ruled that the Scottish government will not be able to hold a second referendum on independence without Westminster’s approval, in a decision that is set to anger Scottish nationalists. More recently, three consecutive Conservative PMs, among which Rishi Sunak, had refused to authorize a second Scottish independence referendum. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, said she respected the ruling, but that, nonetheless, “Scottish democracy will not be denied.” 

Bolsonaro derided for ‘senseless’ challenge to vote he lost last month. Following his defeat against Lula-De Silva, the Brazilian former president has argued that some votes should be invalidated due to malfunctions of voting machines. Still, the country’s Supreme Court leader Alexandre de Moraes has ruled against these claims and has also fined the parties in Bolsonaro’s coalition 4.3 million dollars for “faith litigation”.  

Up to 10 people killed in shooting at Walmart in Virginia In the latest mass-shooting to strike the US, a manager of a Walmart store in Virginia opened fire on a group of 14 employees who had gathered in the break room of the store. Four people, including the gunman, were found dead at the scene, while three died of wounds at the hospital and another six were hospitalized. On account of the dramatic surge in mass shootings the US is currently experiencing, Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats have issued fresh calls to ban assault weapons for the general public.  

Related:  Tra i Leoni n. 103, May 2023

Credit Suisse forecasts a $1.6bn loss on wealth management slowdown. According to representatives of the bank, the rise in client outflows has led to liquidity problems at the group and entity levels. These outflows of 63.5 billion Swiss francs amount to roughly 10% of assets under management. Additionally, the bank’s share price fell to its lowest level in over 3 decades (3.62 Swiss francs) and its liquidity-capital ratio plunged to just 140%.CS officials have claimed they expect a loss at the end of the year, in part due to the “substantial industry-wide slowdown in capital markets.”  

Apple iPhone factory workers clash with police in China. Violent worker protests have erupted at the world’s largest iPhone factory in central China as authorities at the Foxconn plant struggle to contain a Covid-19 outbreak while maintaining production ahead of the peak holiday season. Workers at the factory in Zhengzhou shared more than a dozen videos that show staff in a stand-off with lines of police armed with batons and clad in white protective gear. The videos show police beating workers, with some bleeding from their heads and others limping away from chaotic clashes. 

China imposes new lockdowns as local Covid cases hit record high. On Wednesday, the official state health commission reported 31,444 COVID infections, the largest number since the detection of the virus in late 2019. Despite the low number of cases in comparison to global figures, the government has responded by imposing strict restrictions in cities, continuing its extreme “zero Covid policy”. The announcement comes right as protests have started spreading in cities such as Xianjing, Guangzhou, or Zhengzhou.  

Russian resignation will allow UNESCO committee to resume work Russia’s ambassador to UNESCO has resigned as chair of the World Heritage Committee, a key group responsible for adding and ensuring the preservation of properties in the list of world heritage sites. The Committee had been set to meet in Russia in June, but 46 countries boycotted over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

Merkel says she lacked the power to influence Putin ahead of his invasion of Ukraine. Ms. Merkel, who served as Chancellor of Germany for sixteen years, stated she had felt that, during the end of her term, she no longer held the political power necessary in order to de-escalate Russia-Ukraine tensions. In February, after Mr. Putin launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many analysts speculated the timing had been linked to Ms. Merkel’s retirement, and the resulting perceived instability of the EU.  

It’s been one year since Omicron was discovered. Saturday, November 26th, marked the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s announcement of the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron. A year later, Omicron still has biologists scrambling to keep up with its surprising evolutionary turns. 

Brussels to propose rise in cigarette taxes and the first EU-wide vaping levy. The initiative aims at not only raising minimum taxes on cigarettes throughout the bloc, but also putting in line the excise duties on heated tobacco or vaping to those of normal cigarettes. According to EU officials, the plan’s long-term objective is that of creating a “tobacco-free generation”. Additionally, a ban on flavored heated tobacco was imposed this month by the Commission.  

Taiwan president resigns as party head after local election losses. The island’s voters overwhelmingly chose the opposition Nationalist party, following a campaign that was primarily focused on local issues such as air pollution, traffic, or vaccine strategies. The president Tsai In-Guen offered her resignation in a short speech on Saturday night, during which she thanked her supporters and assumed responsibility for her party’s underwhelming result.  

Italian News 

Migranti, Commissione presenta piano d’azione in 20 punti. La Commissione presenta al Consiglio “un piano d’azione dell’Ue diviso in 20 punti” da presentare al Consiglio Straordinario Giustizia e Affari Interni che si terrà il 25 novembre. Piantedosi si dice soddisfatto di tale piano, che sottolinea la necessità di affrontare le sfide poste in essere nel Mediterraneo Centrale. Il fulcro del piano che verrà presentato dal ministro è “la condivisione dell’esigenza di una più intensa cooperazione con i Paesi di origine e transito dei flussi migratori, anche attraverso la realizzazione di specifici programmi europei di investimenti su quei territori”. Si vorrebbe inoltre rafforzare le attività di ricerca e soccorso aeree, attività che coinvolgerebbe anche gli Stati di bandiera.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 27/03/2023

È morto Roberto Maroni, ex ministro dell’Interno. L’ex Ministro dell’Interno Roberto Maroni è morto a 67 anni, dopo aver lottato per molto tempo contro una grave malattia. L’ex ministro era nato a Varese nel 1955. La famiglia ha dato il triste annuncio sulla pagina a lui dedicata, scrivendo “Alle ore 4 il nostro caro Bobo ci ha lasciati. A chi gli chiedeva come stava, anche negli ultimi istanti, ha sempre risposto: ‘Bene’. Eri così Bobo, un inguaribile ottimista. Sei stato un grande marito, padre e amico”.  

Reddito di cittadinanza abolito dal 2024. il Consiglio dei Ministri ha approvato all’unanimità la legge di bilancio. Piuttosto che concentrarsi su un’unica proposta, si è deciso di realizzare varie manovre, tra quelle proposte. “Ve lo annuncio, alla fine del 2023 il Reddito di cittadinanza verrà tolto a tutti coloro che possono lavorare,“ dice Giorgia Meloni. E aggiunge: “Ci siamo dati un periodo di transizione in cui vogliamo capire come intervenire in maniera strutturale, perché rimango fortemente contraria al Reddito di cittadinanza.“ 

È stallo sul price cap sul gas. In 15 bocciano il piano dell’Ue. Il ministro italiano Picchetto riporta quanto emerso dalla riunione dei ministri dell’Energia dell’UE, che stanno ora discutendo il price cap statico sul prezzo del gas. Spiega Picchetto che la proposta della Commissione non va e che i tre testi del pacchetto vanno trattati congiuntamente dai vari Paesi. Dato che i Paesi Membri che condividono tale posizione costituiscono una minoranza di blocco, vi è la possibilità di un nuovo Consiglio straordinario dell’Energia. 

Pagamenti, niente più obbligo di Pos fino a 30 euro. La strenua difesa del cash da parte della premier Giorgia Meloni non si ferma all’innalzamento del tetto del contante a 5mila euro. Con la giustificazione di allineare l’Italia agli altri Paesi europei, si è deciso di rimuovere l’obbligo di utilizzo del Pos per i pagamenti inferiori a 30 euro. Con esso, vengono rimosse anche le relative sanzioni, che erano state introdotte dal governo Draghi pochi mesi prima. Così facendo, si riavvolge il nastro della politica e dell’economia italiane fino a prima del primo e secondo decreto Pnrr emanati dal precedente governo tecnico.  

Bocconi News 

This week the Bocconi Campus has seen once again confetti and champagne bottles for the Undergraduate School Graduations! Friday and Saturday the students who graduated in the September session have been proclaimed! In addition, third year undergraduate students have received the results of the first round of Admissions to the Graduate School. A big congratulation to all! 

However, this has also been a week of sensibilization for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. A series of events have been organized by the Associations, while Bocconi itself has attempted to sensibilize students also with a series of social media posts. All the community, however, knows that Bocconi is constantly standing next to women who are victims of violence, as the Red Bench in Piazza Sraffa reminds us every day.  

Bocconi and Jobs online activities have also begun on November 23rd, while on Tuesday this week there will be the on-campus activity and students will have the possibility to meet recruiters from several different fields.  

This incoming week also look forward for some interesting cultural events: 

  • On Monday 28th the Parete Prize, in memory of Dachau survivor Ermando Parete will be awarded to Guido Barilla, along with the a scholarship sustaining a deserving student.  
  • An IGIER policy seminar will be held on Thursday 29th on “The War Economy in Ukraine”, which sees in the panel Mr Tymofiy Myalonov, the Economic Advisor of the Ukrainian President Zelenzski. 
  • On Thursday, Scala Orchestra Director Mr. Riccardo Chailly will be in Bocconi, presenting Boris Godunov on the Occasion of the 7th December Prima of the famous Milanese theater.  
Related:  Monday Briefing 08/05/2023

So, look forward for the events of the week, and see you next Monday! 

In Depth 


Per iniziare, un breve resoconto del perché ricordiamo le donne vittime di violenza proprio il 25 novembre. Questa data viene istituita dall’Onu nel 1999 per commemorare tre donne militanti brutalmente uccise mentre visitavano i propri mariti in prigione durante la dittatura di Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in Repubblica Dominicana. Il simbolo delle scarpe rosse nasce da un’installazione politica dell’artista messicana Elina Chauvet lanciata per la prima volta nel 2009 davanti al consolato messicano di El Paso, in Texas, allo scopo di rivendicare le donne uccise nella città messicana di Ciudad Suarez, altrimenti chiamata la “città dei femminicidi”. 

Anche se il 25 novembre è indubbiamente un ottimo momento per riflettere sulla violenza che subiscono le donne, diverse attiviste femministe fanno notare che è importante che questa giornata non sia l’unica a mettere al centro del dibattito pubblico questo problema. L’accusa mossa a istituzioni ed aziende è di operare femminismo “di facciata” (pinkwashing). Ricordano infatti che per eliminare la violenza di genere è necessario lottare anche tutti gli altri 364 giorni dell’anno.  

Un altro aspetto che sottolineano in merito alla narrazione della violenza delle donne è la sua rappresentazione in termini solo fisici, come i cartelloni sui mezzi pubblici che presentano una donna con un occhio nero. Nella realtà, la violenza è anche verbale e psicologica ed è cruciale sapere le diverse modalità in cui si declina per poterla riconoscere. 

In Italia, come da tradizione, il movimento femminista Non Una di Meno ha organizzato un Corteo Nazionale a Roma, ricordando quali sono le principali battaglie per il nostro paese a fronte dei diritti delle donne. 

Italia, a che punto siamo? 

Citando un articolo di Jennifer Guerra, giornalista e autrice di saggi sul tema del genere, da quest’anno diventa obbligatorio stilare un piano antiviolenza nazionale con cadenza triennale finanziato con cinque milioni di euro, cifra non arbitraria come in passato. Inoltre, con il piano nazionale sulla violenza contro le donne 2021-2023 è stato inaugurato l’osservatorio sul fenomeno della violenza sulle donne e sono stati impostati dei requisiti minimi per finanziare i centri antiviolenza. Sul sistema intricato e problematico che governa i finanziamenti dei centri antiviolenza ecco un articolo di due anni fa del Post

D’altro canto, è ancora necessario un intervento massiccio e radicale per garantire l’emancipazione economica delle donne, pilastro cruciale per prevenire e mettere fine a relazioni abusive e di dipendenza.  Nonostante sia stato istituito il reddito di libertà che eroga 400 euro alle richiedenti a prescindere dal proprio ISEE, la misura è stata garantita a un numero limitato di donne (2500) e le stime indicano che sarebbero circa 21 mila le donne a cui servirebbe. 

Per dare un’idea del panorama italiano in merito all’indipendenza economica basti pensare che il 37 percento delle donne non ha un conto bancario e questo dato sale al 100 percento se si considerano unicamente le donne con un livello culturale basso. L’occupazione femminile rimane inferiore a quella maschile, scendendo sotto al 30 percento nelle regioni del sud e infine il divario salariale, quindi quanto prende in meno una donna rispetto a un uomo per la stessa mansione è pari al 20 percento.  Diventa lampante dunque che, come paese, è necessario impegnarci sul fronte dell’occupazione femminile in maniera trasversale.  

Per sapere di più su questi dati, cliccate qui e qui

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Every week, your TiL Monday Briefing 🗞: you better read it with a cup of coffee! ☕️

Current members of the team are Elisa Latora, Dragos-Ioan Ile, Chiara Todesco, Polina Mednikova, Zoe Di Lieto, Pietro Ferrari, Vatsal Aggarwal, Claudia Caffo, Egemen Aray, Theo Di Martino Taulois, and Bojan Zeric.